I’m currently writing my second novel titled Queen of a Gentleman’s Game, the first in a three-book series, and in it I’m taking on the greatest challenge of my writing career so far: writing in first-person from the perspective of a woman.
I knew from the onset this would not be easy. It’s a thriller set mainly in the early 1970s that follows the rise of Kay Jordan, a strong woman from humble beginnings who forged her own path to success in American politics during a time politics were still almost entirely dominated by men. I don’t want to give too much detail on the plot right now, but tying this historical fiction thriller in to what really happened during the Nixon/Watergate era has been a challenge in itself, but compares little to the task of being a white man trying to write solely from the perspective of an independent woman.
Voice is so important in literature, and rightfully so. I’ve read more articles and books, looked at more research, and asked more questions about what makes a strong woman than I can begin to tell you, all in an effort to try and make Kay Jordan the voice of a woman, not my own. Above all else, I want Kay to be an authentic character and a true voice of a modern woman…getting that right is more important in this book than anything else.
Having said that, I want to conduct a round of interviews with women and I’m seeking volunteers. I want to talk about real-life issues you deal with or have dealt with (particularly in your careers). I want to talk about instances in your life where your insistence to take leadership roles may have been met with resistance, as Kay’s is in Queen of a Gentleman’s Game. I want to talk about your relationships with others and how being a confident woman may, or may not, have had an effect on your interacting with others. I’m hoping for some diversity here…age, race, or ethnicity doesn’t matter and I’m hopeful that everyone will have different stories. Nonetheless, I’m coming in with an open mind, fully-intentioned to listen and not direct, and hopeful that those who volunteer to talk to me, either in-person or on the phone, are willing to let me use their experiences as a woman to shape a lead female character that I hope will have a long, tremendous presence in literature.
If you’re willing to help, please reach out to me via social media or by email at lance[a]blancejenkins.com. Your stories and experiences shared with me in conversation will be kept in confidence and only used for the sake of making Kay Jordan an authentic character.
I’m so excited for this book. I loved A New Requiem as it was very personal to me, but I have even higher hopes for this book and series. My writing and style has evolved so much in the last year and I can’t wait to share this next one with you. Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!
One last thing…here’s a photo of three of the strongest women (one girl) that I know!